Ask an Author: I published my book on Amazon. Now what?

by | Jul 22, 2014 | Ask an Author | 0 comments

Well, for starters, the question you should have asked is “I’m going to be publishing my book in the next few months, what do I need to do to be ready?” That’s OK though, because one of the advantages of self-publishing is that you have no shelf-life (in the literal sense, because your books aren’t going to be pulled from bookstore shelves if you don’t sell quickly enough).

What you need is a new job. No, you’re not going to quit writing; this is an additional job: marketing. Guess what? Aside from a few friends and family who you’ve talked to about your book, no one has heard of it. You need to fix that. Author marketing is a whole topic unto itself, but a good place to get started is looking through the author’s guide to self-promotion.

In short, you need to put your book in people’s hands. You need to get them to review it. You need to get people to see those reviews.

Social Media is where you need to be. Twitter, Facebook, G+. Pick one and engage with readers. Talk about topics in your genre, give opinions, ask questions. Just generally be part of the scene. Once in a while (on average, once a day or less), mention your work. It should be less than 10% of the content you post. Give your book away free to people who ask for it, and ask in return that they consider reviewing it. Don’t make it a demand, or a payment, just mention that it would be a nice gesture once they’ve finished reading it.

Most of this effort will produce nothing. That’s fine, and that’s normal. Eventually some of it will produce results. Think of it like wandering the streets of New York, shaking hands and introducing yourself. Plenty of people will ignore you. Some people will shake your hand, but keep walking. You’ll encounter some crazy people who spout their own agendas to you. But sometimes you’ll end up in a great conversation, gaining a friend, a reader, or a mentor who will be part of your growing career.


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